Garrett Street in Charlottesville, between Ridge Street and Avon, has excellent “green infrastructure”. It is a canopy street. Trees provide shade and shelter, and lower temperatures in the summer.
In 2006 the Charlottesville City Council adopted a 2025 Vision. Item five of the eight point vision was “A Green City”
The City adopted a plan in 2016 to guide the morphology of its streets. Citizens were involved in the development of the plan. People like canopy trees. Shade is a necessity in a southern city if you intend to walk in the summertime.
The Garrett Street trees have been celebrated over the years.
In the last decade development pressure has focused on this corridor. But still, in the time of COVID-19, a number of the trees remain. (construction workers maintaining distance).
This past week, seven Garrett Street corridor Pin Oaks were dispatched. 10-15,000 square feet of shade gone. Over a million leaves, gone. Carbon sequestration gone. Apex Energy is building an eight storey energy efficient structure to the south of the stumps . The landscape plan for Apex’s new corporate headquarters shows these noble oaks being replaced by pagoda dogwoods, a flowering plant, a small deciduous shrub that grows to twenty feet, with a trunk up to six inches in diameter. Token trees.
The proposed plantings will not provide the environmental services that these trees brought to our City. This canopy street destruction is deeply discouraging.
According to talk on the street, the Apex building is being designed by William McDonough + Partners, two thoughtful companies… Sometimes green is not green.
I stumbled off the track to success in 1968, started chasing shadows that summer. Since then, In addition to farm-laborer and newspaper photographer my occupational incarnations include dishwasher, janitor, retail photo clerk, plumber, HVAC repairman, auto mechanic, CAT scan technologist, computer worker and politico (whatever it takes to buy a camera.) I am on the road to understanding black and white photography.
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